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Yellowstone Wolf: Project Citizen Science

Yellowstone's wolf packs—8 Mile Pack

The 8 Mile pack originated in southwest Montana and was named after a creek in Paradise Valley. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks radio-collared a large black male (SW763M) from this pack near Tom Miner Basin (SW denotes southwest Montana). This pack was considered a boundary pack until 2011 when the alpha female denned within the park boundary, in Sepulcher Hills, for the first time. While establishing itself as a park pack, 8 Mile displaced the Quadrant Mountain pack and had multiple interactions with the Blacktail Deer Plateau pack. The pack’s first documented alpha male, 871M, was radio-collared in February 2013, and led the pack with alpha female 909F (“Red/Brown”), until he was killed by a neighboring pack in October of 2014. In February of 2014, SW763M, 821F, and an uncollared female left the 8 Mile pack to form the Prospect Peak pack. In July 2016, once alpha male 910M, left the pack to form the Cinnabar pack, which resides slightly more west than 8 Mile. More recently, the 8 Mile pack was led by alpha female 909F and an uncollared alpha male. Yet in April 2017, 909F was found dead and pregnant with pups, confirming her status as breeder. She was injured by an ungulate in a hunt and subsequent injuries killed her. There were no surviving pups from the 2017 breeding season; we will know whether or not this is due to canine distemper after capture and serological analysis this winter. This pack often splits into smaller groups, but together, total 17 wolves. 963F, a former breeding female, appears to have left 8 Mile for a Montana pack. But, 2018 still seems to be a successful breeding year for this pack with probably two active dens. In the winter of 2018/2019, 8 Mile had many new male members from the Wapiti Lake pack, including: 1105M, 1106M, 1015M, and a few uncollared wolves. They seemed to have driven off the aging alpha male 962M, who was later harvested legally in Montana north of the park. Around that time, 1005F, 1119F, and 1049F split off of the main 8 Mile group and started utilizing the area between Blacktail Plateau and Hellroaring. They briefly merged with Crevice Lake pack, but it didn't last. It will be interesting to see which 8 Mile group dens and if we have a new pack forming! [Updated 04/2019]

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Pack composition

ID Social status Age class Color Sex Age Mange status Birth year Birth pack Description
1005FSubordinateAdultBlackFemale4Uninfected2015Part of '1005F Group', an 8 Mile subgroup.
1015MAlphaAdultBlackMale5Infected2014Mollie's PackDispersed from Mollie's to Wapiti Lake Pack in 2016. Then, left Wapiti Lake in the winter 2018/2019 to become the alpha male of 8 Mile, thereby replacing 962M. A small mange patch was noticed in March 2019 on the top of his neck behind his ears.
1049FSubordinateAdultBlackFemale3Uninfected20168 Mile PackPart of '1005F Group', an 8 Mile subgroup.
1105MSubordinateYearlingGrayMale2Uninfected2017Wapiti Lake PackThis male left the Wapiti Lake pack during the winter of 2018/2019 and joined 8 Mile.
1106MSubordinateYearlingGrayMale2Uninfected2017Wapiti Lake Pack1106M joined the 8 Mile pack with the other Wapiti Lake dispersers in the winter of 2018/2019. He then split off into the '1005F Group', an 8 Mile subgroup. He is the alpha of this subgroup.
1119FAlphaAdultGrayFemale3Uninfected20168 Mile PackPart of '1005F Group', an 8 Mile subgroup. She is likely the alpha female of this subgroup.
1155MSubordinateAdultBlackMale5Uninfected2014Has whiter cheeks.
BrindleAlphaAdultBlackFemale?UninfectedThis graying black female is the alpha of the main 8 Mile group.
No ID yetSubordinateAdultBlackUnknown?UninfectedPart of '1005F Group', an 8 Mile subgroup.
No ID yetSubordinateAdultGrayUnknown?UninfectedPart of '1005F Group', an 8 Mile subgroup.
No ID yetSubordinateAdultGrayFemale3Uninfected20168 Mile Pack
No ID yetSubordinateAdultGrayMale2Uninfected20178 Mile Pack
No ID yetSubordinatePupGrayMale1Uninfected20188 Mile Pack

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Past pack members

ID Social status Age class Color Sex Age Mange status Birth year Birth pack Death year Description
763MSubordinateUnknownBlackMale11Uninfected2008SW763M (collared by Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks) was a former 8-Mile wolf. Has a GPS collar and a very gray body and face. In early 2017, he joined the Junction Butte pack from Prospect Peak.
821FAlphaUnknownGrayFemale10Uninfected20092017Studded collar. This alpha female was killed by other wolves in April 2017 soon after she had given birth.
871MAlphaUnknownBlackMale10Uninfected20092014Birth year was estimated at 2009 or 2010. Darkest adult black wolf in pack and has a radio-collar. Has gray on undersides.
909FAlphaUnknownGrayFemale10Uninfected20092017Has a red/orange tone to her coat. Looks small when compared to other uncollared gray adults in pack. She was found dead in April 2017, pregnant with pups. This 8 Mile alpha female was injured by an ungulate in a hunt and subsequent injuries killed her.
910MAlphaUnknownBlackMale8Uninfected20118 Mile Pack2018As a young adult this wolf was identifiable by the white tip at the end of his black tail. Although the white tip is gone, he is now identifiable by his radio-collar and white "beard". After spending much of 2014 apart from 8 Mile, he has rejoined the pack as alpha male until 2016, when he left for Cinnabar. He was believed to be alpha male of Cinnabar until he died in late summer 2018.
Dark GraySubordinateUnknownGrayFemale?UninfectedDarkest gray female in pack. Dark black spot on upper tail with a gray tail tip. Very dark saddle. Winter 2014 spending more time away from pack with SW763M and 821F.